Website Essentials: Your Message

Take a look at your website’s home page. What is it’s message? Do you talk about you? If you are a massage therapist, do you talk about the different modalities of massage you do? Do you explain your techniques? How detailed is your explanation of your services? Chances are, your site speaks mostly of the features of your services. A visitor wants to know about the benefits.

Most people visit a site to find something of value to themselves. We live in a “What’s in it for me?” kind of world. Let me illustrate this for you. If someone goes to a hardware store looking for a drill bit, what is he buying? He is NOT buying a drill bit, he is buying a hole. When someone books a massage, they are not looking for a particular technique, they are looking for what that technique will do for them.

Your website’s home page needs to reflect the benefits of what you do, not what you do to give that benefit. Imagine your website as a newspaper. The most interesting and important stories are on the first page. Actually, they are not JUST on the first page, they are above the horizontal crease that divides the top of the page from the bottom. Your website also has a ‘crease.’ In the world of web design, the important stuff is put ‘above the fold’ on a website’s home page. This ‘fold’ is the bottom of the window before someone would start to scroll down.

Therefore, it is important to put above the fold, all the benefits of your services. You can share the features elsewhere in your site. But when someone first shows up, make sure that the first thing they see are all the reasons why your services will meet their needs. There is one more thing to keep in mind when you speak about meeting people’s needs. Many times, the need is not all that obvious. There are four basic needs: Financial, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual. It is very possible for your service to meet each of these needs. Using massage as an example: someone with back pain might not be able to work to her fullest potential, and therefore is not earning as much as she could. She might be depressed because of the pain. While the physical need is obvious, for some, massage might meet a spiritual need because of the meditative quality of a session.

Think outside the box when you write about the benefits of your services. Make sure that what appears above the fold is written from the visitor’s perspective. What is in it for them? The visitor wants to know about benefits, not features.

In this series, we’ve spoken about your website’s purpose, how to implement that purpose, and your site’s message. Next, we are going to talk about your website’s appearance.

’til next time,

Woody

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